Late summer evenings.

It’s becoming more apparent that fall is on its way. The katydids are calling. A few leaves have fallen. Days are noticeably shortening, to the point where last night I was surprised to be ending our ride in darkness.

But we soak up the last of the summer, the beginning of the end of evening rides without the need for lights. It’s still hot and humid, but the nights are cooler now. We sweat hard when we climb but the hint of cool air chills us just the right amount when we coast.

We linger by the lake, catching the sunset through the pines. Screaming kids in the distance drive us on, back to the quiet of the deserted woods. We can barely see as we hurtle down the gravel road. It’s freeing.

The best friends are those with whom we can pedal in silence. We can enjoy each others company without speaking our every thought or struggling to come up with thoughts to speak. We can bask in the world around us, side by side, without judgement or expectation. We can push ourselves, and push each other, or we can back off and relax, go at our own pace.

I found those friends and it’s an incredibly lucky thing.

I’m cold as we stand in the dark driveway, saying our goodbyes and finishing off a gallon of ice cream. I can do without the heat and humidity of day, but summer evenings are something I’ll soon miss.

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